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Crisis Assessment Counselling and Referral Case Study Essay Example

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Crisis Assessment Counselling and Referral Case Study

2.1 Client Assessment Interview

Melissa Edwards, Stefan Vorzi Reece Edwards are a family. Reece is not Stefan’s child. He is Melissa’s child from a previous marriage whereby her husband was physically abusive and is now in prison. In their first visit, there seemed to be a huge crisis in the family. Reece was restless and irritable while as Melissa appeared to have been crying for reasons yet to be established. On the other hand, Stefan uses vulgar words on both Melissa and Reece. It also appears that Stefan has grave anger since the receptionist noted his aggressive behaviour. Also, he seemed to have despaired with getting help from the institution even before beginning therapy.

As a counsellor, I took this case with utmost caution. It took a long time to earn the trust of the family. Gradually, we began assessment and I was able to gather some information from them. First, Melissa is 20 years younger than Stefan. Her date of birth is 12/10/89 while that of Stefan is 6/7/69. Reece was born before from a previous marriage between Melissa and Reece’s father. His date of birth is DOB: 20/4/09. At the time of visit, Reece was only three years old and his father was in prison for domestic violence.

From the information give, it is clear that the family needs urgent support in counselling and finances. Melissa is 28 weeks pregnant with Stefan’s baby and they are broke, broken and homeless. Melissa’s family members do not send Melissa any money. So, the family relies of Stefan’s casual labour and Melissa’s parenting payment and Family Tax Benefit. There is currently no money and the family hopes to survive on $ 22 for the coming week. Moreover, Reece needs new clothes since he seems to have outgrown his clothes.

2.2 Present Issues and Possible Impacts

The family is currently homeless. They depend on Stefan’s brother who is under medication and surviving on disability support pension.

Shelter is one of the basic needs of an individual. The family lacks housing yet they have a child. Also, Melissa is pregnant with the second child. It is likely that Reece may become negatively affected by this situation. Also, Melissa’s pregnancy may be problematic due to the surrounding conditions that deter peaceful living. On the other hand, Stefan may feel guilty for not being able to provide for his family. Ultimately, there is going to be a cycle of uncomfortable situations.

Melissa is only 28 weeks pregnant

Basically, expectant mother require nutritional health and social wellbeing. The current crisis in the family may cause the second child to be born with deficiencies or complications. Also, we are not sure how well Melissa takes care of herself considering her third trimester pregnancy.

Stefan is violent

As in the first visit, Melissa appeared to be afraid of Stefan. His poor choice of words even when addressing Melissa or Reece indicates how unruly he is. At work, Stefan is engaged in a fist fight with his colleague. It is unclear on the consequences of the fight since word got around.

Melissa comes from a violent marriage

Melissa’s former husband id in prison after physically assaulting Melissa. She met with Stefan and they hoped to start a new life in another town. However, it seems that Stefan has anger management issues.

The family has only $ 22 for the week

. Feeding an expectant mother and a young child may cost more than $ 22. Not only is the family homeless, but they are short of money for food and Reece is unkempt and sick. Family Tax Benefit from CentrelinkStefan is still waiting for

Richard is bipolar

Richard is the only alternative of housing besides their car or friends. This situation may not be favourable for Richard since he also has no job. His disability support pension may not be adequate for them all

2.3 My Concerns

Melissa needs counselling

Melissa seems to be helpless and could have been crying. According to the information gathered, Melissa felt unsafe in her previous marriage. The second marriage is not only unsafe but financially unstable and verbally abusive. Her 28 weeks pregnancy is another source of distress since they cannot afford a second child. As an individual, Melissa needs to be supported and counselled individually.

Stefan is alcoholic

Stefan drinks even while at work. Word is getting round that he got into a fist fight with his after binge drinking. The events are taking a toll on him and he is losing control. Urgent measures need to be taken to ensure that his alcoholism, verbal abuse and anger do not lead to physical abuse towards Melisa or the children.

Stefan is yet to acknowledge Reece as his son

According to the information given, Stefan has never been a father before. With his child about to be born, Stefan needs to learn how to be a parent. As observed, Stefan was not being patient with Reece and was shouting at him to stop running around. Also, he used vulgar terms on both Melissa and Reece. This characteristic of Stefan could greatly influence Reece’s personality.

The family needs family therapy

Both Melisa and Stefan need marriage counselling. At the moment, the family is experiencing big crises that they cannot handle. They have been evicted and the owner of the house is also selling his house. Also, there are high chances that Reece is neglected by both Melissa and Stefan.

2.4 Helping the Family

Counselling can be carried out in sequential procedures. First, using open ended questions, I can learn more about Melissa and Stefan. Also, involving them in discussions is very important in helping them to open up on their situations. The ultimate plan is to enable the family to get jobs and rebuild their lives. The family needs referrals to a psychiatrist and marriage counsellor. On the other hand, Reece needs to be taken to child support programs as his parents amend their lives. Currently, both Stefan and Melissa cannot take care of themselves. They need to be reassured on life. Melissa needs urgent therapy to ensure that she does not despair. Also, Stefan needs to be referred to a rehabilitation facility to learn on anger management and to cut on his binge drinking. Also, being an institution that provides housing, Melissa and Stefan can be given accommodation in the institution.

Time plan for successful therapy of Melisa and Stefan is not definite. First, the referrals suggested above can only be enforced when the individuals volunteer to be engaged. In this program, I intend to convey understanding for the challenges faced by the family. Also, positive reinforcement in crisis counselling helps the clients to focus on reinforcing positive behaviours on them. In this manner, I can get both Melisa and Stefan to understand the severity of their crisis. Basically, Melisa and Stefan need to focus on their parental responsibilities and responsibilities to take care of themselves. As they prepare for a new baby, both Stefan and Melissa need help in planning for their future. They should also critically assess their decision making processes as a family.

3.1 Case Notes

First Visit

Melissa, Stefan and Reece make their first visit. It occurs that the family is homeless since they had just been evicted for not paying rent. They have been living in their car or at Richard’s place. Richard is Stefan’s brother who is bipolar and on medication. Other times, Melissa, Stefan and Reece live at their friends. On the other hand, Reece, their 3 year old son, appears to be restless and less calm. His clothes appear to be outgrown and dirty. It is possible that he is neglected. Melisa is 28 weeks pregnant and they only have $ 22 to buy food to push them through the coming week. Stefan woks as casual labourer but has not been paid yet. He is 20 years older than Melissa and has binge drinking problem.

Second Visit

One week later, Melisa, Stefan and Reece make a second visit. Stefan is on Newstart and is calmer but desires to manage his anger. Reece is also quieter and has newer clothes. Currently, they are living at Richard’s since he took them in as they find other alternatives. They all share the living expenses. At this moment, it is clear that Stefan neglects Reece and boldly refuses to help Melissa in parenting. On the other hand, Melissa expresses her fear of being unable to raise their second child.

Third Visit

Two weeks later, it is clear that Melissa and Stefan need marriage counselling. They both are willing to get into therapy since they have been fighting over various decisions. However, Stefan is yet to begin anger management therapy. Reece on the other hand has bruises and a skinned knee. Melissa confirms that Reece is still hyper and got himself injured by the door. Also, they paid their vehicle registration and they therefore have no money to buy food.

3.2 Sharing Relevant Information with Client

I would encourage Stefan to accept Reece as his own. Neglect in a child could result in extreme negative outcomes like drug abuse in his older age.

Stefan should consider getting more than one job to fend for his family. With a new baby coming, the family would need more finances.

They should both understand Reece’s personality. It is clear that the child is extremely active.

Stefan should consider using proper English when addressing both Melissa and Reece. In his first visit, he kept using vulgar words.

The success of the therapy depends on both their efforts. They are both indebted to ensure that they abide by recommendations made to them.

Melissa needs to engage with their neighbours and learn how they cope. This initiative could help the family to learn new ways and opportunities to make money.

4. Letter for referral to priority housing


I write to you from Sunshine Community in the interest of helping Melissa, Stefan and Reece. Melissa is 20 years younger than her husband Stefan. Her date of birth is 12/10/89 while that of Stefan is 6/7/69. 3 year old Reece was born from a previous marriage between Melissa and Reece’s father. His date of birth is DOB: 20/4/09. Melissa and Stefan moved to this town to feel safer and start a new life.

At this moment, we have had four assessment sessions and I have learnt more about the family. Melissa is 28 weeks pregnant and appears to be distressed. Stefan has a history of binge drinking but is now cutting down on his consumption. He works as a casual labourer to fend for his family. The family was evicted from their house as the owner wanted to sell the house. Under our guidance, this family has made positive progress towards rebuilding their lives. I ask you to shift their NT housing application to priority list for public housing.


Sunshine Community.

5 a) Exit Questionnaire

1. Name / Age/ Gender/ Marital status/ Name of spouse (if married)/ Names of children/ Age of children

2. Has Sunshine Community been of assistance?

3. What was the most favourable session?

4. What do you think should be improved at Sunshine Community

5. Would you recommend Sunshine Community to other people?

6. What did you not like about Sunshine Community

5.3 When and how would you follow up with this family?

The family is currently residing at Richard’s. Therefore, further assessments need to be conducted every two weeks. Both Melissa and Stefan need to continue with their assessment at the facility. This continued support would ensure that Melissa continues to develop positive attitudes towards the unborn baby. Also, the therapy could help Stefan to become a better father to Reece and his unborn child. However, it is reported that Richard is becoming withdrawn and depressed. Being a person on medication, the safety of the family needs to be prioritised. Richard should be introduced to counselling. This therapy may help in ensuring that he manages the situation well. Also, upon acquiring their new house, more follow up will be conducted to ensure that Reece is not neglected. Both Melissa and Stefan need to be responsible parents.

Works Cited

. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2010. Print. for Male-Friendly TherapyTranstheoretical ModelBeyond the Crisis of Masculinity: A Brooks, Gary R.

. LaVergne, TN: Nelson Reference & Electronic, 2010. Print.Caring for People God’s Way: Personal and Emotional Issues, Addictions, Grief, and TraumaClinton, Timothy E, Archibald D. Hart, and George W. Ohlschlager.

. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2008. Print.Crisis Intervention StrategiesJames, Richard K.

. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Internet resource.Fundamentals of Crisis CounselingMiller, Geraldine A.

. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Print.Crisis and Recovery: Ethics, Economics and JusticeWilliams, Rowan, and Larry Elliott.